Testimony of Dr. A. Jukes
July 30, 1885
(rebuttal witness)

DR JUKES sworn

Examined by MR ROBINSON:

Q. You are at present the medical officer attached to the Mounted Police force? A. I am the senior surgeon of the Mounted Police.
Q. And how long have you been in medical practice? A. Thirty-five years.
Q. Have you devoted your attention to insanity at all specially or not? A. Never specially. There are cases, of course, occasionally will come under the notice of every general practitioner, but as a special study I have never done so.
Q. Every medical practitioner, I suppose, has his attention more or less directed to it? A. Occasionally I have been called upon to certify in cases of insanity.
Q. You are also surgeon to the gaol here I am told? A. At present until a gaol has been erected in the North-West Territories, the guard room at Regina constitutes the gaol, the guard room headquarters constitutes the gaol.
Q. In that capacity insane persons would pass under your hands any person supposed to be insane? A. Yes. I remember during the last three years a number of persons of unsound mind have been sent there as a place of confinement.
Q. And in that way they have come under your observation? A. They have come under my observation for the time.
Q. Now, you know the prisoner I believe? A. Yes. Q. How long have you known him? A. I don't remember the exact day that he was brought to Regina, but I think it must have been between the 20th and 24th May.
Q. But whatever it was - between the 20th and 24th? A. About that time I am not sure.
Q. Since that time how often have you seen him? A. I have seen him almost every day. There have been one or two or perhaps three days that I have missed seeing him, owing to pressure of other business, other work at that time, but I have seen him uniformly every day.
Q. As a rule you have seen him every day, although you have missed two or three or four days during that time? A. Yes.
Q. Then you have had an opportunity I suppose of observing his mental condition? A. I would speak to him on every occasion in passing him, and he has generally acquainted me with what he conceived to be his wants and his necessities, and I would examine into the condition of his physical - the general health and ascertain how his diet was agreeing with him, and things of that kind, such as came under my special duty, and occasionally he would speak to me on other matters, occasionally he would delay me and speak to me on other subjects.
Q. Then have you formed an opinion as to his mental state? I am speaking now of his insanity - sanity or insanity? A. I have never seen anything during my intercourse with Mr Riel to leave any impression upon my mind that he was insane.
Q. Then as I understand you believe him to be sane? A. I believe him to be sane so far as my knowledge of such matters goes. I have seen nothing to induce me to believe otherwise.
Q. I suppose you have had your attention directed to that part of his character more or less, I mean to his mental condition more or less? A. No, I have never seen anything to make me question his mental condition, and therefore have never led the conversation under any circumstances to draw out any possible insane notion. I have never made any effort to do so, because my duty was otherwise.
Q. What I mean is, doctor, you have heard, I suppose, from time to time, rumors that there was an assertion of the unsoundness of his mind? A. I have heard it rumored that he had been formerly insane and that he had been confined, I think, in the Beauport Asylum, and I have heard it also rumored that it was the intention to bring forward a plea of insanity in his defence on the present occasion, that is a general rumor.
Q. Therefore, I suppose you have had this thing in your mind, that is all, that part of his condition in your own mind in speaking to him? That is all that I mean? A. Yes; Oh, I have always watched him very carefully so as to notice if possible any appearance of unsoundness of mind, and if I had noticed it, I would have placed him under special treatment as far as my knowledge enabled me to do, or have advised further treatment for him as I have done in other cases.

Cross-examined by MR FITZPATRICK:

Q. You said, doctor, that you had not made any endeavor to ascertain during the intercourse which you had with Mr Riel, whether or not he suffered from any particular mental disease, did you? Or any form of insanity or any mental disease, unsoundness of mind? A. I never specially examined him as a lunatic. I never that cases of that kind could be produced - and it would depend very much upon the mental condition of a man whether he were responsible. If it could be shown that he was clearly insane, he is clearly irresponsible on that point. That would be my own view.
Q. So that if it can be clearly shown that he was laboring under a delusion that he was divinely inspired from God, you think he would not be responsible for his action? A. Responsible for what?
Q. Responsible for his actions in connection with delusion of course? A. What actions would they be, such actions as what?
Q. Such actions as he might do for the purpose of carrying out his insane delusion? A. Well, take Mahomet for instance, that was exactly Mahomet's belief. He believed and few believed with him, even of his own people, that he was divinely inspired, but he acted upon his belief and he carried his whole belief with him. He believed it and he carried it out at the point of the sword and with the whole world, and he convinced the people of what, if he had failed, would have been simply regarded as a delusion of his own mind.
Q. So that you think the conduct of Mr Riel perfectly compatible with the conduct for instance of a man like Mahomet or a man like Smith or a man like Young? A. No, I don't regard him so far as I understand them - Mr Riel's views in that light. My opinion is rather, in regard to Mr Riel, if you will allow me to say it, as far as I have been able to judge from my own personal knowledge, that he is a man of great shrewdness and very great depth, and that he might choose, knowing the great influence which he exercised over these people who had a much inferior education to his own, that they regarded him in the light almost of a Saviour, I have thought that he might have assumed for the purpose of maintaining his influence with them, more than he really believed.
Q. That is your impression, doctor? A. I have thought that it might be so. I don't think it is, for I have never heard him on the subject. I have never heard him speak on that subject, and I gather that knowledge only from a general knowledge of what has taken place and from personal knowledge which I acquired in speaking with Mr Riel, but never on that subject.
Q. And of course that knowledge is also based upon a very imperfect hearing of the evidence? A. Of this evidence today - on this evidence to-day it is not based. I had a very imperfect hearing of the evidence of to-day. I am speaking only of the general judgment I formed in my own mind entirely apart from the evidence as given in this room. That is what I speak of.
Q. That is entirely outside of what you have heard here? A. Yes, not - let me observe - contrary to what I have heard, though it may be contrary to what I have not heard.
Q. So that now, doctor, you are perfectly aware, are you not, that insane men have exhibited very great shrewdness in some respects? A. Yes.
Q. Now, are you in a position to say, doctor, on your oath, that this man here is not insane? A. I am in a position to say that after a very considerable amount of conversation with him and daily communication with him, I have never spoken to him on a single subject on which he has spoken irrationally.
Q. And you have never spoken to him on the particular subjects with reference to which he is supposed to have his delusions? A. Name the subject?
Q. On religion, and on his mission with reference to the North-West Territories? A. I have never spoken to him on either.

  Louis Riel Trial Homepage